The Ukrainian government has allocated Hr 40 billion ($1.08 billion) this year to invest in the drone industry, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on July 26.
Shmyhal spoke at a forum celebrating the anniversary of the Army of Drones project, an initiative of the Ministry of Digital Transformation.
The Army of Drones was set up to make the process of bringing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the battlefield fast, going around the bureaucracy associated with regular procurement. The use of UAVs has been a key characteristic of the war.
Shmyhal mentioned that the government has removed customs barriers for importing spare parts and now facilitates the mass production of ammunition for combat drones.
He was referring to a resolution which simplifies bureaucratic procedures to speed up the production of ammunition for UAVs, which was approved by the Cabinet Ministers on July 21.
According to Mykhailo Fedorov, deputy prime minister and minister of digital transformation, 40 Ukrainian-made drones have been licensed by the state to be used on the battlefield, compared to seven that had state contracts one year ago.
New drones have to pass military and safety tests in order to obtain a license, a process that has been sped up over the past year.
He added that 10,000 UAV operators have been trained and another 10,000 are currently undergoing instruction.
“We are actively forming the world’s first naval drone fleet,” Fedorov said.
Russia claimed that Ukrainian seaborne drones were responsible for the explosions reported early on July 17 at the Crimean Bridge. Kyiv did not claim nor deny responsibility for the alleged attack.
On July 24, drone attacks were also reported in Moscow and Russian-occupied Crimea. CNN wrote that Ukraine was responsible for the attack, citing a Ukrainian military intelligence official, speaking anonymously. According to the news outlet, the official has not received permission to speak publicly about the incident.
Meanwhile, Russia launches Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones against civilian infrastructure in Ukraine on a daily basis.